Emotional Eating… aka Real Vs Fake Hunger

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hi, My name is Becca and I’m an emotional eater.

Guilty as charged

If I’m happy, I want to eat.

If I’m sad, I want to eat.

If I’m lonely, I want to eat.

If I’m tired, I want to eat.

If I’m bored, I want to eat.

Wait… Is bored even an emotion? Regardless, I could go on and on and on, but you get my drift.

Growing up a lot of things in my house were rewarded with food.

You do good on a test? Well let’s go for icecream!

Me? Want icecream? Neverrrrr!!!!

Bully at school was mean to you? Here’s some cookies!

Good or bad, there was almost always food involved. Birthdays, holidays, an hour or two after dinner there was always a “snack” of some sort when I got bored and would mindlessly eat it in front of the tv or computer.

I don’t “blame” my parents for this issue I have, I mean, I didn’t HAVE to accept any of this, but whatever. It is what it is.

Since I’ve been back from vacation this has been a very tough subject for me. I actually emailed a friend and said I wanted to emotionally eat everything in my house. Literally.

Thankfully she knows me, and she knows my struggles and very honestly pointed out that I understand WHY I want to overeat, it’s emotional, not real hunger. Eating will not shut up the voices inside, it will not make me feel better or fix the situations at hand.

All it would do would add guilt to my already emotionally unstable self. Why would I ever want to do that to myself?

To regress on my progress, for what? Five minutes of mindlessly shoveling food into my face without even tasting it.

Because you KNOW that’s how emotional binging is. Fist to mouth. Get it in there, eat eat eat. Shut up those inner voices with more food. You reach the bottom of the bag/container/dish and except for the crumbs all over yourself you barely realize you’ve eaten 23956347856 calories of junk because well… it all went in SO FAST you barely tasted it, if you did at all.

So after staring down my stuffed full freezer, seriously debating moving the GOOD food out of the way to get to the small pint of icecream at the back, I stopped myself and asked if I really NEEDED it.

If there is only ONE thing I learned about myself and my body from prep it would be about hunger.

It’s a constant on somedays… and somedays non-existant.

In my life before prep I was rarely hungry. If I was even remotely “hungry” I ate.

I mean come on, I was over 200lbs at one point, CLEARLY I did not like to be hungry.


The fact of the matter is now I feel hunger…. And oddly enough THAT is how I stopped myself from emotional eating this week.

Yes, when I was upset/overly emotional did I feel hunger? Yes. Of course I did. That’s the signal I take to binge eat.

But in prep I very often feel hunger. It’s basic math, to lose weight you must take in less calories than you need, which in “normal” circumstances equals hunger. Was my hunger this past week worse than usual? No, not really.

So why use that “hunger” to overeat. I don’t need to stuff myself to feel better, I needed to feed my soul, not my gut.

… And that is what I did. I took control of the situation… of my happiness. Once I finally admitted to not only myself, but to a few other people that I am in fact NOT happy with certain aspects of myself and my life I was able to put a plan into action to change those things… and you know what? The urge to eat everything in sight slowly went away.

I didn’t feel haunted by the jar of pb or the icecream in the freezer. Did the pizza place in the metro smell absolutely fan-fing-tastic? You bet your lean ass it did, but ALL of those things will be there in 14 weeks.

Actually, that’s a lie. In 14 weeks those bad boys will be in my belly, but that’s not the point. I think you got my point.

… Or I hope you did, I’m kind of losing myself here.

Basically what I’m getting at is that if you TRY you can justify anything, from binge eating, to choosing to remain on your plan.

For me, the “need” to eat and feed that hunger wasn’t enough to counteract the hunger I feel to be on stage again, leaner, tighter and more on point than I ever dreamed.

It will only get BETTER from here

So for now I’m squashed those demons back into submission. Hopefully they stay there and leave me alone, but even if they don’t I know how to deal with them… and I know I always have a great support system to HELP me deal with them when it feels to overwhelming to deal with on my own.

Have you ever dealt with emotional eating? How did you overcome it?

  1. kara says:

    I love this post! I can soooo relate! I am just now learning to deal with emotional eating… like last night when I woke up for my 1:00am bathroom break I had to say to myself go to the bathroom and then get back in bed…. not go to the kitchen for a late night snack! I was proud of myself when I woke up this morning that I didn’t sleep walk into the kitchen!

    Hope you have a great day!

  2. Allie says:

    “Basically what I’m getting at is that if you TRY you can justify anything, from binge eating, to choosing to remain on your plan.” —> you are so right with that! People try to justify ANYTHING and I suppose you can under circumstances. Good job taming those demons! 14 weeks from now you can have an ice cream partayy!

  3. You handle it much better than I do. I’m sure your goals help you handle it. The end picture of what you want.

  4. I am Queen Emotional Eater. My parrents were very “Finish what’s on your plate” and really “Good job, here’s a Happy Meal”. Not blaming them either, but habits form when you are young. I gave up chocolate dessert & candy for Lent and it has made me so aware of how often my impulse is to reach for a cookie or a handful of chocolate chips. Acknowledging the craving and getting through it isn’t easy, but think about it, I know I’ll feel bad about myself if I indulge every time. I feel good saying no. Thank you for posting this.

    • ihearteggs says:

      I feel you Mindy! We were 100% clean yoru plate people in my house and I still get those urges, especially in restaurants now! I have to cut out my portion and automatically move the rest to a side plate or something so I dont chow down!

  5. I really resonate with this because emotional eating is my demon too. I eat whenever my anxiety level rises just a bit so I can have those few moments of satisfaction only to be plagued by guilt for hours (days) after!

  6. I’m a total emotional eater: I quit smoking, I eat, I get depressed, I eat, I’m stressed, I eat, I can’t sleep, I eat. ugh!

  7. So anyways let me tell you, Becca what has made me angry today. I was thinking of you today and wondering why I hadn’t seen any new posts from you lately. So here I am at your blog and realized somehow your blog was kicked off my reader. But it’s back now and I’ll be stalking ya mkay.

    I am such an emotional eater. I eat when I’m stressed, tired, studying, being lazy, not at the gym…yeah really I don’t have a problem.

  8. Amanda says:

    Thanks for this post Becca. I, too, can totally relate. And I, too, have known there are some aspects of my life I need to change lately. My eating has been more up and down lately because of these stress factors. Boo. It was really good to read your post, thanks for being so honest 🙂 You are absolutely right that emotional eating fixes nothing. Way to conquor the beast!

  9. Wow! I absolutely LOVED this post. It’s so reassuring to know that thre are other people who go through the same food issues! This blog is awesome and I can’t wait to see your stage photos!

  10. Claire says:

    Absolutely brilliant post sweetie. By the way i do love the apron!!! x

  11. LegallyBalanced says:

    This post was exactly what I needed today. I’ve been having my own scale issues (though I’m sure I don’t work nearly as hard as you do) and was getting in a serious funk about it. Thank you for sharing your own struggles…you’re certainly helping me with mine!

  12. marlopnwgirl says:

    So glad that you were able to defeat the urge to emotionally eat. I know that in the past we’ve all been guilty of giving in then feeling like grud, emotionally and physically. I still tend to snack way to much when im bored.. Need to stop that crap! LOL!

  13. Lisa says:

    I am so glad to hear I’m not alone! I’m still working on how to deal with emotional eating, it seems to win every time. I did okay during prep but gave in a few times too. I need to learn to be strong like you are, Lord help me!! I think of snacks that way though, “It will still be there in 14 weeks” SO TRUE!!! I think that way about cakes and candy and chocolate. I’ll give in if it’s something that is odd and I haven’t had in awhile or won’t get in a very long time but everyday stuff, I can pass by, it’ll be there next time too. Thanks Becca!!

  14. I def. an eater based off emotions, but I have learned to control it. I usually just have to chug some water and get busy doing a project to take my mind off mindless eating or turn on some trashy realtiy TV. We usually don’t have many snacks, treats or junk food in our house so it is hard to overeat on broccoli or almonds (the only snacks we have right now).

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